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2006.11.17
More than 20 million babies are born every year weighing less than five and a half pounds. This low birth weight is a leading cause of infant deaths. Those who survive will likely have an impaired immune system and may suffer chronic ill health in later life. India is home to nearly 40 percent of babies born with low birth weight in the developing world. It reflects a cycle of poverty and under nutrition where one in three women is underweight and therefore at greater risk of giving birth to low weight babies. Soundbite (English): Rainer Gross, UNICEF Chief of Nutrition ”Inadequate status of nutrition of mothers…a mother which is not fed well, is undernourished, unhealthy, is not able physiologically to deliver a well-fed healthy child.” India and Pakistan are making modest improvements in reducing underweight prevalence – but it’s not enough to meet the Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of young children under weight by 2015. Improving ante-natal care, Vitamin A supplementation and exclusive breast feeding in the first six months of life all help reduce infant mortality rates. But more help also needs to be given to women – before they become pregnant, during pregnancy and in the critical months afterwards. This is Jane O’Brien reporting for UNICEF television Unite for children. *** Asset Name : UNICEF: Poverty in India is root cause of low birth weight babies Asset Duration: 01 min 28 secs Shoot City: Andaman and Nicobar Islands Shoot Country: India Shoot Date: Oct 5 2005
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